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Is it okay to avoid situations that make me anxious, or is that giving up to it?

306 Answers
Last Updated: 12/08/2020 at 11:19am
Is it okay to avoid situations that make me anxious, or is that giving up to it?
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Johanna Liasides, MSc


I work with youth and young adults to help them improve depressive symptoms and self-esteem as well as effectively address family, relationship and peer conflicts.

Top Rated Answers
November 1st, 2014 8:19am
In some situations where you are feeling very overwhelmed and avoiding the situation will not make a major change in your life, it might be acceptable. But running away from your fears is not okay, you have to be in situations that make you anxious and be stronger than anxiety.
November 9th, 2014 1:07pm
It's okay to do that! But if it's something that has to get done, sometimes you just need to push yourself to face your fears. For example, if you're anxious about talking in front of the class, you can ask your teacher not to ask you questions in class and explain it. Usually they'll understand. When you have to do a presentation in front of class, you can ask the teacher if you could do it for less people (people you know are not going to laugh at you when you make a mistake). If that isn't possible, practice will make it less scary for you. So it's okay to avoid situations that are avoidable, but your anxiety shouldn't stop you from living your life.
November 19th, 2014 4:46pm
I don't think that is giving up because I do similar things. I think that is coping with anxiety. In the long run you are going to need to be able to deal with things but I think it is okay to avoid something that will make you uncomfortable because it is natural to do so.
April 8th, 2015 1:54am
It is totally okay to work to avoid anxiety causing situations. You need to first and foremost care of yourself. If you find that you are avoiding too much of everyday life you can work to start taking small steps to manage and or work through your anxiety.
July 28th, 2015 3:31pm
Avoidance is one of the many fight or flight responses that we use when we are anxious. While we should try not to "avoid" anxious situations, and instead face them head on, that is naturally easier said than done. I like to not think of it in terms of "giving up", though. If we just can't bring ourselves to face a situation, we probably just need to scale back our expectations of ourselves. Instead of jumping into a situation we are afraid of with both feet, it might be better to try and break it down into more manageable steps. That way we aren't "giving up" or "giving in", we're going through it and not around it. Just at a manageable pace.
July 27th, 2017 7:56pm
Learning to live with anxiety is a process. Although it's best to not allow your anxiety to get in the way of your experiences, sometimes there are things that are too overwhelming to approach, and that's okay. You can always work your way up to confronting the things that make you anxious. Movie theaters gave me terrible panic when I was little. It took me years, but I'm able to go to the movies now. I started off just getting comfortable in the lobby, then seeing movies I had already seen. etc. I'm grateful I didn't allow my anxiety to prevent me from doing things, but I had to be kind to myself in the process. In short, it's okay to be careful-- it doesn't mean that you're giving up. You're just a work in progress, and that is a very good thing.
January 20th, 2018 9:43am
Avoidance is perhaps the most common safety behaviour in anxiety. The problem with avoiding situations that make us anxious is that we never know if it was that bad, so we get more anxious the next time because we never faced the issue. When we find yourself in this cycle, the only way out is to face the issue. It can be terrifying, however it will be such a healthy thing for you to do. Remember you can always talk through the issue with us here on 7 cups! ❤
September 27th, 2014 10:54am
you shouldn't do something that someone wants you to do you should do what you feel like doing and if you feel like your being pressured into the situation the i suggest you dont do it
September 29th, 2014 6:08am
That is perfectly okay! However, I do think that you should try to always go for something. Things like speeches and debates are a few examples, and the only way to get better is by going for it.
October 21st, 2014 9:05pm
Its better to face that anxiety and work through it than to let the anxiety make decisions over your life. Finding ways to help you work through that anxiety will help you better face the times you get anxious in the future. It can be a long process but it is much better than missing out on things that you would otherwise enjoy because you are to worried about it. Anxiety does not control you, you control you.
May 28th, 2015 5:33pm
No. It is not okay to do so. While situations such as talking to a Professor that I look up to so much and he has high expectations of me makes me really really anxious. Because it puts a lot of pressure on me and I have had mental breakdown a few times before examinations. I mean, he has told me time and again to graduate as top of my course and all I have ever achieved was the top 25%. I am deeply ashamed the first time I told him that. And now another end of year examination, I really wanted to call the university so that I could postpone or something like that. As anxious and stressed I am, I decided to just deal. Sit for the examination and hope for the best. Because I did my best. I listened to songs on compassion to help me calm down.
June 4th, 2015 8:20pm
It is okay as long as that doesn't screw up your life. If it does it is probably best to go and face it and make your life better
June 22nd, 2015 1:17am
It is ok if that's what you wish, however the best way to go about you're anxiety is to seek help, maybe a professional can help you find ways to help with anxiety, so you do not have to feel anxious in situations.
July 28th, 2015 8:18pm
Yes and no. If you do not have support or copeing skills in place it may be good to avoid those things for a while. But once you have skills and support you should avoid such situations. You should see them as learning experances
December 20th, 2015 7:52pm
I think that it is really important to know and understand what triggers you and protect yourself from it. If a situation makes you anxious, then avoid it the best you can! You do not need to prove yourself to anyone. Take care of yourself :)
February 10th, 2018 8:50am
One of the best 'cure' for beating your fears is to confront them. To look them in the eyes. It's not easy, but it is possible, and as everything, it needs practice. But if you avoid those fears, they are just getting stronger and stronger. Face them.
September 1st, 2018 2:32pm
Actually it's not a bad thing, i guess. I mean if you're not ready to face with these situations, you can avoid them for sure and prepare yourself for them. But the truth is that you can't avoid them forever. It just will be getting harder. I think you should start step by step until you won't be enough brave or just you won't feel good enough to face with these situations. I don't say i'm right or i'm the best person to answer for your question. However, in my opinion you should consider my answer as an option. Hope i helped a bit.
December 29th, 2015 10:17am
Of couse, it's perfectly safe and alright . We have free-will whether to face it or refuse it, It's quite natural too.
January 4th, 2016 6:01pm
At first, it's totally okay to avoid situations that make you anxious. However, the way that many anxiety treatments work is to slowly introduce the individual to more and more of the trigger-inducing things without letting them react to the trigger. If they do trigger, then they are taken back to a level where they feel safe. So yes, it's okay, but don't avoid things so much that they interfere with your everyday life.
January 5th, 2016 12:40pm
i think it's always good to try and get out of your comfort zone but you shouldn't push yourself too hard
February 8th, 2016 12:02pm
it's giving up , you have to face them to control them and better yourself so you can face them again
February 9th, 2016 10:42am
Good to become aware of it and seek help to talk to somebody about it. Share thoughts & experiences.
February 23rd, 2016 3:55am
I have anxiety so I know the feeling. Some situations, it is better to not do and move on, but others, you have to push yourself to do because it may help you rid of the anxiety.
May 17th, 2016 9:43pm
Avoiding situations is never a better option yeah sometimes it's okay to avoid such situations but better is to face it so that you don't have to change your path for that obstacle!
May 30th, 2016 1:51am
It is definitely okay to avoid social situations, but only to a certain extent. Take small steps and work your way up to conquering that situation.
June 6th, 2016 3:57pm
It's totally okay. Do what makes you comfortable, above all else. You're not a failure for doing that.
June 28th, 2016 10:33am
You should always try and push through any bad situation that makes you anxious. If you feel like you cannot feel that way no longer, then it's okay to let someone know.
July 11th, 2016 5:59pm
Depends. You get, in my opinion, 2 types of anxiety. The one is actually and adrenaline rush (a good feeling) and then anxiety (a bad feeling). Both seem to come from the same area and both trigger a 'fight or flight' response. The good one gives me that little push to fight this through since this is going to be amazing, or I flight by chickening out of whatever, like base jumping off a mountain for example. Either way the feeling is good. The anxieties trigger a different fight or flight response in me where I feel that if I do something I might be judged or ridiculed or I might fail if I pursue and the other feels like I am giving up if I don't act or respond in a certain way. The question is, does it feel good or bad? If it feels really bad, it might be better to avoid the situation. If you can't avoid the situation, embrace it and let it be, might turn out better than you think.
September 11th, 2016 1:04pm
I am a firm believer that every situation is unique. There is no "across the board" answer when it comes to anxiety. Some situations I avoid altogether, whilst some I know I have to face head on because eventually it will have to be addressed. Which ever way I chose to handle it, I've never felt like I've given in to or even given up on. In my case some days are good for certain circumstances and others get dealt with when I am ready. I am captain of this boat.
September 14th, 2016 3:01am
It definitely depends on each situation but generally, speaking from experience, avoiding situations that make you anxious is a no. When you avoid situations, you continue to build up an association with that scenario which will continue to restrict you, for example say going to the doctor makes you anxious - you think to yourself 'eh I'm not feeling it today, I'm stay home', which at the time is great, no anxious feelings. Yay! But next time you need to go to the doctor, let's assume it's for something more serious, your brain is immediately going to say 'hey no that's dangerous we're not doing that' - and it only makes it harder to break out of that mentality. Of course there's going to be some situations where it might be a smart idea to avoid, for example you know you're feeling particularly bad and it's going to be absolute hell if you try and go to that place, don't force yourself to feel terrible. In summary, try not to avoid situations unless absolutely necessary, for social situations try your best to go because you might regret flaking later, don't force yourself into situations that you know full well will make you feel terrible, but also if you try and you can't - don't feel like you have given in however frustrating it might feel because every time you try you are standing up to your anxiety.